Saturday, January 11, 2014

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 11, 2014

Closeness with Every Being

For compassion to develop toward a wide range of persons, mere knowledge of how beings suffer is not sufficient; there has to be a sense of closeness with regard to every being. That intimacy is established either through merely reflecting that everyone equally wants happiness and doesn’t want suffering, or through reflecting on the implications of rebirth, or both, with the one reinforcing the other.
- Jeffrey Hopkins, “Everyone as a Friend”
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Via JMG: Russian Orthodox Church Calls For Referendum To Criminalize Homosexuality

Days after a similar demand from Russian actor Ivan "Burn Gays Alive" Okhlobystin, the Russian Orthodox Church has called for a public referendum to criminalize homosexual acts.
The Church's abrupt intervention came amid a growing debate over whether the Kremlin should mount a firmer defence of traditional values that many in the overwhelmingly conservative country view as coming under attack from Europe and the United States. Church spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin pointed to polls showing more than half of Russians viewing homosexuality as either an illness or a crime as a sign that the country was ready to revert to a Soviet-era homosexual ban. "There is no question that society should discuss this issue since we live in a democracy," Chaplin told the online edition of the pro-government Izvestia daily. "For this reason, it is precisely the majority of our people and not some outside powers that should decide what should be a criminal offence and what should not," he said.
A member of Vladimir Putin's ruling party told the news agency Interfax that Russia is bound by international treaties that ban outlawing homosexuality.
Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: 27 GOP House Reps Co-Sponsor Randy Weber's Bill To Ban Federal Recognition Of Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriages

Yesterday House Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) introduced a laughably doomed bill that would limit the federal government to only recognizing same-sex marriages that are legally conducted in the state where the married couple resides. Since the bill's introduction, 27 GOP members of the House have signed on as co-sponsors. The list so far is a cavalcade of crackpottery: Michele Bachmann, Louis Gohmert, John Fleming, etc. Eleven of the 27 co-sponsors are from Texas.
SWeber, a freshman rep and former air conditioner repairman, has previously only authored one failed House resolution. Therefore I suspect his bill was actually written by the Family Research Council, who jointly announced its introduction yesterday with an appearance by Weber on Tony Perkins' national radio show. Other anti-gay hate groups are today praising the bill, including NOM, which posted the below message today on their blog.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today expressed its support for a bill announced in Congress yesterday, the “State Marriage Defense Act of 2014” (HR 3829), and praised Representative Randy Weber (R-TX) for authoring and introducing “this vitally important legislation.” “Representative Weber deserves praise for this vitally important legislation which will lend clarity to the way states’ marriage laws are dealt with by federal agencies,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s President. “The bill simply reaffirms and strengthens the rights reserved by the states under the US constitution.” Brown also said that the bill is based upon a proper understanding of last summer’s decision by the Supreme Court in the Windsor case that struck down one facet of the law but supported states’ rights to determine their own definition of marriage.
Wonkette today posted a typically fabulous reaction.

Given that even Utah briefly recognized gay marriage, we are pretty sure that this legislation isn’t going to go anywhere, let alone have a chance in hell of passing the Senate with Harry Reid being the badass that he is. However, it is a good reminder that there has always and forever been only one form of marriage which is between a man with a PENIS and a woman with governmentally regulated LADYPARTS the GOP continues to hate on the gays in new and inventive ways. We have no idea if this bill deals with age-of-marriage laws, which also differ between states, but we guess that so long as that 12-year-old GIRL is marrying a 40-year-old MAN, Weber and his ilk are probably totes cool with it, because that is WAY MOAR BETTERER than two consenting adult menfolk doin’ it in the butt.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: State Department Issues Security Warning To Americans Traveling To Sochi Olympics

The U.S. State Department today issued an updated travel advisory for Americans planning to attend the Sochi Olympics. An excerpt:
MEDICAL CARE: The Olympics are the first large-scale event to be held in Sochi and medical capacity and infrastructure in the region are untested for handling the volume of visitors expected for the Olympics. Medical care in many Russian localities differs substantially from Western standards due to differing practices and approaches to primary care. Travelers should consider purchasing private medical evacuation and/or repatriation insurance.
TERRORISM: Large-scale public events such as the Olympics present an attractive target for terrorists. Russian authorities have indicated that they are taking appropriate security measures in Sochi in light of this. Acts of terrorism, including bombings and hostage takings, continue to occur in Russia, particularly in the North Caucasus region. Between October 15 and December 30, 2013, there were three suicide bombings targeting public transportation in the city of Volgograd (600 miles from Sochi), two of which occurred within the same 24-hour period. Other bombings over the past 10-15 years occurred at Russian government buildings, airports, hotels, tourist sites, markets, entertainment venues, schools, and residential complexes. There have also been large-scale attacks on public transportation including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights, in the same time period.
The warning goes to say that the State Department is presently unaware of any threat specifically aimed at Americans. Today's message includes a special warning to LGBT travelers.
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER (LGBT) ISSUES: In June 2013, Russia’s State Duma passed a law banning the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors. The U.S. government understands that this law applies to both Russian citizens and foreigners in Russia. Russian citizens found guilty of violating the law could face a fine of up to 100,000 rubles ($3,100). Foreign citizens face similar fines, up to 14 days in jail, and deportation. The law makes it a crime to promote LGBT equality in public, but lacks concrete legal definitions for key terms. Russian authorities have indicated a broad interpretation of what constitutes “LGBT propaganda,” and provided vague guidance as to which actions will be interpreted by authorities as “LGBT propaganda.” LGBT travelers should review the State Department’s LGBT Travel Information page.
Read today's advisory in full.
Reposted from Joe Jervis

Coming Out Spiritually: The Next Step by Christian de la Huerta